Feb 7, 2011, 4:05 PM EDT
It’s amazing how many people want Pau Gasol to be something he’s not.
He is not a traditional, back-to-the-basket, power game center (and some Lakers fans criticized him for it). He doesn’t have a big ego and demand the ball, he gently reminds guys he’d like to touch the ball more (he gets criticized for that, too). He is not a black swan, he’s often a white one.
“Pau knows who he is,” Jackson said. “He’s tenacious. I like him to be aggressive offensively. He’s always a willing passer. The one thing I’m on him about is getting that first rebound. Don’t let them knock it out of your hands. Don’t let them knock it away.
“Otherwise, all this talk about how aggressive he is or how aggressive he isn’t falls on deaf ears. He totally gets it. He is who he is. We’re not going to make him into (Boston’s Kevin) Garnett. He’s not going to go around and punch guys in the (groin).
“He’s too nice of a guy. This is an intelligent person who understands what this game is about. We’ve been to the Finals three years in a row, so that’s part of it.”
Gasol is one of the few classic intellectuals in the NBA. If you want to discuss the works of José Saramago, he’s your guy (although he prefers non-fiction).
He’s not overly aggressive by nature, but also knows when he needs to be and turn it on. And he’s got a couple nice rings to prove it.
Jackson, for all his poking at Gasol, knows people and how to motivate them. And he knows needling Gasol through the media washing off his target. So he’ll just needle KG instead. Classic Phil.
- Pat Riley says he didn’t think LeBron was leaving, Heat can turn around quickly 14
- Coach K on Rose: “Derrick’s played great, not good, and hasn’t held anything back” 16
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 41
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 56
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 14
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6
- Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did. 17